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NCDM 2007 Keynote Speaker Tony Hsieh Runs a Service Company That Just Happens to Sell Shoes
Las Vegas, NV, December 12, 2007 — Addressing attendees on the final day of the National Center for Database Marketing (NCDM) 2007 Conference in his new hometown of Las Vegas, Zappos.com CEO and Director Tony Hsieh will speak this morning between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (PST). He will explain the philosophy behind his company in his keynote address, “A Conversation with Zappos.com: Walking a Mile in Your Customers’ Shoes.”
Hsieh will be the final keynoter during NCDM 2007, the conference co-produced by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and DIRECT magazine that ends today at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in
Customer service is at the core of Zappos.com’s success. Indeed, its corporate motto is: “We're a service company that just happens to sell shoes.” Moreover, Hsieh is so committed to customer service that he relocated his company — and himself — to
While Zappos.com is today a giant marketer of shoes, Hsieh admittedly had trouble envisioning success for an online shoe business.
When he got a call in 1999 from Zappos.com Founder Nick Swinmurn, Hsieh told Inc. Magazine, “I almost deleted the voice mail. Nick left a message saying he wanted to start a company that sold shoes online. I didn't think consumers would buy shoes sight unseen, and Nick didn't have a footwear background. It sounded like the poster child of bad Internet ideas. But right before I hit ‘delete,’ Nick mentioned the size of the retail shoe market — $40 billion. And the more interesting thing was that 5 percent was already being done through mail order catalogs. That intrigued me. Initially, I was just an adviser. But I got sucked in.”
Swinmurn was indeed on to a great marketing ideal. Today, Hsieh leads a shopping site with gross merchandise sales that grew from $1.6 million in 2000 to an estimated $800 million in 2007. Climbing past footwear, Zappos.com has expanded to sell apparel, accessories, and bags. It projects revenue to reach $1 billion in 2008.
Hsieh’s secret? Word-of-mouth marketing — customers promote the company with onsite personal reviews. His site is replete with reviews such as: “Great service!!! What a pleasure it is to order from Zappos. The site is easy and the service is the BEST. The product is exactly what it shows. THE
Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded Venture Frogs with Alfred Lin. Venture Frogs is an incubator and investment firm that invests in Internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, MongoMusic, MyAble, Tellme Networks, and Zappos.com.
Co-produced by DIRECT magazine and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the
DIRECT provides strategic and tactical information for direct marketers that is timely, inspirational and on the cutting edge of innovation. DIRECT’s franchise of print, online, and interactive information products connect today’s direct marketers to the information, resources and suppliers they need to reach their business goals. DIRECT’s award-winning editorial staff delivers detailed coverage on cross-channel integration, ROI/analytics, CRM/database marketing, direct mail, email marketing, search/Web marketing, print/production, DRTV/radio, insert media, telemarketing, and legal/regulatory issues.
DIRECT’s franchise of information products includes: DIRECT magazine; www.directmag.com; DIRECT Newsline, DIRECT Listline, DIRECT Tips, Magilla Marketing, and Searchline enewsletters; the online Buyer’s Guide; The National Center for Database Marketing (NCDM) conference; Webinars; E-Special Reports; ListFinder; and original research. DIRECT is part of Penton Media’s Marketing Media Group, which includes Chief Marketer, PROMO, and Multichannel Merchant.
About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents nearly 3,600 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the
In 2007, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — are forecast to spend $173.2 billion on direct marketing in the
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.
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